July was a very busy at the P.L.A.C.E. as we took a journey to visit the homes of what most people know as the Five Civilized Tribes.

Our first journey was to the Chickasaw Nation Cultural Heritage Center where the youth took a tour of the traditional Indian villages dating back to the eighteenth century. They learned about the Chickasaws’ spiral garden and stick ball competitions. We also continuined our fun, summer trips to the OBU swimming pool and the new Shawnee Splash Park, where during the summer months the Tribal youth could be found three times a week. Each week our youth are taught about film appreciation and plan on watching several movies including “Paddington Bear”, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1”, “Alexander and the Terrible Horrible Day,” and “Maleficent.”

Our Tribal youth also will be dressing the part once a week according to themes. The first week as our theme was “Red, White and ‘U’”. The second week is “Over All Day,” while “Dress like a Golfer Day,” “Dress like your favorite Hoop Star Day,” and “You’re in the Army  Now” will close out the month.

The Tribal youth will be participating in several skills camps for volleyball and basketball, getting them some exercise while building their basic skills in these sports. I want to say ahead of time how thankful we are for the help from all the by volunteers from the community and the P.L.A.C.E. staff who are putting it on.

We also held quite a few youth-orientated tournaments revolving around the use of water balloons, volleyball, horse shoe, free throw and three point shots, miniputt golf, checkers, ping pong, dominoes and lawn ball.

And as always, we play hard at the P.L.A.C.E. but we also party hard, with our Tribal youth “celebrating” National Ice Cream Day, National Lasagna Day and Ice Cream Sundae Day.

While we’re busy at the P.LA.C.E. and almost running at full capacity, we’re always looking for more participants if we can accommodate them. If you would like to learn more about the FireLodge Tribal Youth program, feel free to contact me at dgreene@potawatomi.org.